Nevis: Types of Company
Multiform Foundations Ordinance
The Multiform Foundations Ordinance came into force on October 1st 2005. It introduces a flexible hybrid multiform of foundation into the Nevis international financial services regime.
The Nevis Multiform Foundation is a legal entity shell into which a subscriber can self-design the form of the Foundation, subject to given rules that define it. Therefore, each Nevis Foundation will have a stated multiform, meaning that the constitution of the foundation will state how it is to be treated: whether as a trust, a company, a partnership or an ordinary foundation.
Through the multiform concept the stated identity of the Foundation can be changed during its lifetime, thus allowing for greater flexibility in its use and application.
The Ordinance provides for other entities to be converted or transformed, continued or consolidated or merged into a Nevis Multiform Foundation. Therefore, an entity incorporated outside of Nevis can be transformed into a Nevis Foundation; an existing Nevis entity can be converted into a Nevis Foundation; and any two or more entities from outside or within Nevis can merge into a Nevis Multiform Foundation.
The Ordinance provides for a balance between privacy and transparency and also provides for healthy corporate governance. In light of this, the Ordinance anticipates that Nevis Multiform Foundations will be used for estate planning, charity, financing and special investment holding arrangements.
The Ordinance has a section on forced heirship, making it clear that any Multiform Foundation governed by the laws of Nevis cannot be made void, voidable or liable to be set aside, or defective in any manner by reference to the law of a foreign jurisdiction.
The Ordinance provides that a Foundation can become tax resident in Nevis, subject to an annual fee of USD1,000. The Multiform will then be subject to Corporation Tax at a rate of 1% of net income (net profits) with a minimum tax payable of USD1,000 per annum. This is particularly important for some jurisdictions, and again enhances the flexibility of these entities.